If there's one thing that you can pick out in the first micro-second of this short (but not sweet) EP, it's the dulcet tones of Jon Davies' guitar tearing out of your speakers. If you've not heard that name, keep up, he's the man behind Conan's rampaging riffs, and you're sure to have heard them raid eardrums up and down the country and around the world. Now he's turned his attention to the 90s industrial metal scene and a very pissed off-sounding drum machine, and the results are predictably epic.
Opening the 'Blackened Gates of Eternity' is akin to wrenching the doors of Hell off their hinges and being engulfed in a boiling tidal wave of lava. It draws in a ton of influences, handily summed up in a press release as a mixture of Godflesh and Fudge Tunnel, but it's not just a quick knockoff. This is very much its own beast, buoyed by Jon Davies' status as god of tone and handily programmed drums – the cymbals alone could slash throats at fifty paces. 'Impale Lore' also pushes the blackened angle in a thrilling finale of treble tremolo riffing worthy of the very purest of black metal. And so it goes, tighter and tighter and then even tighter, to the very end, through eleven minute epic 'Targetted' closing a claustrophobic production line of disciplined groove that could swallow the universe whole in its gravitational field.
It may only be half an hour but Ungraven packs so much into its running time it warps time into a strange new spaces. Jon Davies continues to carve his name into the annals of metal history with 'Language Of Longing' being another chasm-deep mark of a genuine auteur.
'Language of Longing' is out now on Black Bow